Now the World Knows! World Mental Health Day 2016

About a year ago, I was contacted by a media group in the UK asking if they could interview me and possibly publish an article about my experience with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Well, a year later, it’s here.

The Sun, UK has published the interview, as well as the Daily Mail.

What the fuck.

I have mixed emotions…

My main concentration is to raise awareness- with mental illness, DID, suicide prevention, rape… I mean, just things that I’ve personally dealt with. That’s my entire focus. I want people to inform themselves, to know that DID specifically isn’t this silly little game, but it’s YEARS of personal turmoil. It’s trauma, it’s real life pain, confusion and work.

When I started this process of being interviewed, I was in such a different place in therapy, in life, with myself. Now that this has been published, it is actually quite trippy to see my progress.

(I’d also like to point out that there are definitely a few errors on the articles. One of them being that Rogue is a “sex addict.” So not true. )

ANYWAYS, there’s lots I could say on the subject.

And to new readers, yes, I am real. 
Yes, DID is actually a real disorder.
No, I’m not like Sybil. I’m a relatively normal person just like everyone else.

Overall, if you’re curious about Dissociative Identity Disorder, I encourage you to educate yourself.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote regarding DID from a personal standpoint- https://lazarusandlithium.com/10-things-we-want-you-to-know-a-letter-from-a-multiple-to-a-singleton?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

And here’s a link off of NAMI: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Dissociative-Disorders

A Puzzle Piece Poem- What does my DID mean?

You look at me and see
One whole piece
But what you don’t understand yet
Is you’re looking at me: 3, 5 and 13

Welcome to DID.

D is for dissociative.

For most, It’s when you finish the chapter to the new book and have to go back and look, to reread it because you weren’t paying any attention in the first place.

For most, It’s the moment you catch yourself behind the wheel of your car and you have no clue how you got so far

For some, It’s the moment you fall and skin your knee and tears start pushing out from your eyes until you realize. you feel alright, even though youve stopped feeling altogether

For me, It’s the moment when I had to find a hiding place in the bathroom, angry voices tangoing back and forth in hot and unforgiving Spanish, it’s me at 5 looking down at my wet dress from the plummeting sadness begging for my dad to come home to save me from the sounds of an alcoholic monster. Only to look up and find her- my first friend. The southern belle with the little pink bows. My best friend who no one else can see – this is DID.

It’s the moment my new best friend told me “honey everything is okay.” And then I stopped feeling that day because she started to feel for me.

It’s the moment when he walks into
The room and i know he’s coming for me
Yet all I can do
Is pretend to be asleep as he peels
Off the sheets and splits my little
Legs open like his Christmas doll.

It’s the lull of the eyes
When a hand flies to meet my
6 year old cheeks because my bedtime was at 8.

It’s the rate of my heart beat
When i hear my father has died
On the streets of LA
Probably with a heroin needle in his arm, anyways …

This is DID.

I is for identity.
That’s easy enough… But…Who is me?

Identity is the funny little cloud that has been following me around, shifting, twisting, sometimes white, on Sunday’s black, lightning licking out of me with anger and confusion.

It’s the constant trust issue because i never know if it’s going to rain, or snow, or be bright.

It’s the moments I wake up in someone else’s clothing in the middle of the night.

It’s the reason why I’ve been a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, and a slew of other worshipping devotees.

It’s the reason why I come to and find coloring books scattered around me like a beloved book fair.

It’s my hair how’s it been red and black and purple and shaved.

It’s how I have ten different names

This is DID.

D is for disorder.

It is the carousal of diagnoses, medication, clip boards and hospital gowns.

It’s being on lock down after I tried to end my fragmented life.

It’s groggy mornings when my eyes won’t open from my slurry Seroquel state.

It’s seeing shadows and voices and feeling men’s hands running down my thighs in the middle of a flashback.

It’s checking into rehab, withdrawing from pills.

It’s the thrill of going to group therapy and trying to explain that THIS shit is DID.

My DID.

My DID is a novel of childhood, trauma, rape, incest, brainwashing, addiction, suicide attempts, lost relationships, lost money, lost time, lost me, my selves and I.

If you must know, no it’s not all bad.

My DID is an intelligent narrative of poetry, calculus classes, a published book, a theatre admission to Juilliard, it’s the reason why part of me can drum and the other part can’t use chopsticks.

It’s tucking myself in at night with stuffed animals and sippy cups. It’s wearing cowgirl boots on Monday and a combat boots on Tuesday.

It’s always having someone to talk to.

It’s being the most colorful crayon in the box and knowing even if I’m broken, I can still color the entire rainbow.

You look at me and see
One whole piece
what you might understand now
Is you’re not only looking at me: we are system of multiplicity.

This is DID.

DID- a Personal Interview

I’ve been wanting to write an update, but every time I sit at my keyboard, I lose focus and have no idea where to start.

I’m okay. Things are better. I’m more stable. I have a new psychiatrist. I have a new scrip for Buspirone. My mom is talking to me. I haven’t been feeling the need to swallow a bunch of pills to kill myself. Work is going well. My social life is going well. The system is okay- though we are working through something at the moment.

Everything is okay.

I didn’t want to just leave a paragraph update, so I decided to post an interview regarding DID  that I recently did (which the article itself will hopefully be published within the next couple months!).

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Age:
24

Location:
California, USA

What’s your current profession?
I currently work in HR. When I’m not bustling around the office floors, I’m writing. I recently published my first book ever! It’s called, Solipsist, and it is a collection of confessional poetry that I’ve been writing during my journey in therapy. (Self promoting! It’s available on Amazon and on Kindle!)

When were you diagnosed with DID? What was your journey up to your diagnosis like?
I was diagnosed in the early summer of 2015. Before that, I had been diagnosed with both Bipolar I when I was 16 and Schizoaffective Disorder when I was 22. I struggled a lot with the latter. I had checked myself in to outpatient services once I was hearing malicious voices. It was really intense, frightening, and confusing. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and the misdiagnoses of SAD really set me back a little bit. It was difficult.

When did your different alters start to develop?
This is a tricky question. I suppose they really began developing around 4-5 years of age. My first alter, I suppose you could call her, was Allie. She’s been my best friend ever since. I’ve been told by friends that even in high school sometimes I would act oddly, or would even introduce myself by a different name.

How many alters do you have in your system? Can you tell me about about each different alter and their character traits?
So far, I’ve come to know 6 main alters. However, I know there are at least 3 more and a possible co-host.

Victoria is 24 and loves to write. She’s the host, typically.

Allie is a southern belle. She manages the system and works time out for everyone. If someone has an issue within the system, she is the go-to.

Goldie, or Marigold, is my protector. She’s from New Jersey, she’s tough, and she absolutely has no problem telling someone how we really feel.

Senka is 5. She’s sweet, loves dinosaurs, and likes to color.

Dee is 16, although I think she may age-slide. She’s a typical teenager and enjoys a good party.

Rogue has no identified age. She was angry abusive, and hypersexual. Now through therapy she seems to just bob around in the background.

Those are the 6. The others are:

Citizen, who is quiet and observant.

Lucy Lovelace, who is a more recently realized alter and I don’t have much information on her as of yet. I know that she was “born” in a mental institution.She has been taking on co-host responsibilities and traits.

Celia. She’s what I call the “emotional accountant” of the system.

How does Marigold protect all of you?
Goldie possesses the quality that I wish I always had: She doesn’t take abuse from anyone or anything. If something hurts the system, she’s usually the first to come out. To anyone who has met her, she’s been described as a little “rough around the edges” due to her brutal honesty. However, she is loving. She offers advice to me when I need it, even if I don’t want it.

How often can you switch between alters? Are you aware of what’s happening during a switch or when you’re a different alter?
To be honest, I don’t know how often it happens. 99% of the time, I don’t think I’m aware. I don’t feel that I even switch. Sometimes, I just feel fuzzy and my eyesight starts to shift. My girlfriend is usually the one to let me know, “so-and-so just came out.” Besides her telling me, I don’t know. However, there are times when they are louder, and there are times that I feel that I may be co-fronting, but I still don’t have any way to confirm that that means I’m switching.

Can you tell me a bit more about your day-to-day life is like?
I wake up, sometimes I’ll have a morning “meeting” with everyone depending on how we’re feeling. I’ll drive to work and Goldie typically drives with me. Every now and then Senka will be in the backseat. I work a full-job. I’d be lying to you if I said it’s not stressful because there have been moments where I’ve switched at work. Senka came out once that I know of- imagine working at your desk and then all of a sudden there’s a 5-year-old and no one knows what to do with you!

When I get home, I like to write. I blog. It’s therapy for me. I’ll spend time with my cat, Rita. I’ll play guitar sometimes. Then, bedtime!

Everyday is so different, but this is basically what it looks like.

When and why did you start vlogging and blogging about living with DID?
I started blogging a little over a year ago. I didn’t begin my blog focusing on DID. I had been battling depression for years, as well as drug addiction and rehabilitating from suicide attempts. My blog was created with the sole intention of helping other people by sharing my story. Then of course, as time went on and therapy opened up my trauma, I decided to spread awareness about DID.

The vlog came about 6 months after.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I have two goals:

1) I want to spread awareness, not just about DID, but about mental health and specifically the stigma against suicide. I’m astonished at the lack of information on the topic of DID and I would LOVE to educate people!

2) I want to continue writing and publish my autobiography.

What are the positive aspects to having DID, is it comforting to have the company of your alters?
Even though it’s scary and painful, my alters have shown me so much about myself, my past, and what I am truly capable of as a survivor. There’s not one boring day with all of us. When I’m really depressed and feeling lost, Allie is there by my side, ready to comfort me. When I feel threatened, Goldie protects me. There are a lot of positive aspects.

How did it feel to be finally diagnosed with DID in 2015? Did you feel a sense of relief or elucidation about yourself after your diagnosis?
I had mixed emotions about it. I think I had just been getting used to accepting Schizoaffective as my diagnoses and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t do any research at first. Then, slowly after working with my therapist, I realized that DID was not a fluke in brain chemistry; rather it is an adaptive and coping disorder. This is when the relief set in, because I knew there could be an “end result.” Integration. I began delving into books and forums. I picked up the DSM-V for the first time. I was so incredibly surprised to see how textbook my case was! There was definitely a sense of relief. I finally feel confident in the accuracy of my diagnoses.

I think you made a really moving point about how your alters have helped you survive trauma in your life and you hate to call DID a disorder. Can you tell me a bit more about this and describe how your alters have helped you?
I had coined this term in my blog when I first began writing- Glitter Rainbow Imagination, in lieu of the word disorder. I feel that “disorder” implies something that you want to get rid of, something negative and that is harmful to your psyche. My experience is quite the contrary! I had suffered through a lot of abuse, both verbally and physically. If I hadn’t have split, I promise you I would not be here today. Some of my alters, specifically Rogue, carry a lot of intense trauma.

I suppose if you look at it for a more psychological viewpoint, each of my alters are kind of like a filing drawer, and I’m the cabinet itself. Each drawer contains information and memories that are unique to that drawer. My brain has compartmentalized my childhood up until now. Through therapy, I am learning how to unlock the drawers safely, how to read through the files and accept the information.

 

What happened when Senka came out at work and did your work colleagues realise what was happening?
I don’t think anyone really noticed except for one co-worker. At the time, my girlfriend was working at the same office and Senka asked for her. So, the receptionist called her and my girlfriend took Senka for a drive. I don’t think she’s been out since then; she knows she’s not allowed to be out at work.

What sort of things do you discuss with your alters at your morning meetings?
We do a quick “scan” of how everyone is feeling usually. More recently, we discuss if anyone needs to take over for a while. For example, Goldie likes to drive in the morning and smoke a cigarette. Sometimes Senka wants to color after work. It all depends.

Do you have to buy or do certain things to accommodate all your different alters? e.g do you buy toys for Senka or different clothes for your some alters?
Senka definitely has a lot of stuffed animals. She loves dragons and dinosaurs so we have plenty of those! I wouldn’t say that the alters have different clothes- however, when we go shopping, they will come forward and give their opinions on what we should buy, or not buy. So, you can imagine how indecisive I could be!

What’s the most common misconception about DID?
Well, first of all, I find that the majority of the population doesn’t even know the term DID. They know Multiple Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, the extent of their exposure to MPD/DID is what they’ve seen on screen- i.e Sybil, United States of Tara, etc.

The common misconception is there are wild switches and that’s it. One day you’re Jane, the next you’re Rachel. At least in my own experience, it’s not like this. Sure, I switch sometimes. But there is SO MUCH MORE to it than that. It’s complex, it’s painful, there are so many layers. DID is not a little thing to work through. Honestly, I believe I’ll be working on it for the rest of my life.

 

DID- Lesser Known Symptoms

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The most common known symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder include the presence of two or more alter personalities (with this comes switching alters), loss of time, amnesia, depression, mood swings, sleep disorders, flashbacks, psychotic-like symptoms (such as auditory and visual hallucinations), drug abuse, and anxiety.

What about the lesser known symptoms? It took me quite a while to do my own research on DID once I was diagnosed. I’m not sure if I was anxious, scared, in denial? Perhaps all of the above. Slowly, I began to pick up books and read thirstily on the internet from forums and psychology resources. I was surprised, actually, to find how little information is out there on the topic. It seems that every web page I read from was just recycled wordage from WebMD and a Wikipedia page. I’ve mentioned this on my blog before- when I picked up the DSM-V for the first time and read about DID, I was seriously surprised at how textbook I am in regards to all the symptoms, well known and lesser known symptoms.

I’ve found some really great data on Reddit. Personal experiences have helped me tremendously. I posted on Reddit the other day and asked my fellow multiples and systems to share any of their lesser known symptoms. I’d like to share some of their responses here to bring some more awareness and understanding about Dissociative Identity Disorder, or at the very least, an interesting read:

Allergies
I seem to be allergic to seafood, pineapple, and Caesar dressing. It is noted that different alters can have, or not have, varying allergies as well.

A redditor brought up an interesting question: “Acute anxiety, of the sort experienced when people with severe PTSD are triggered, can absolutely cause a histamine reaction, but a blind grid scratch test, where the patient doesn’t know which potential allergen is on which part of their skin, would behave differently from a conventional allergy if the mechanism is psychosomatic.”

Differing Eyesight
“One of my alters has differing eyesight… He’s the only alter of ours that wears glasses. He rarely fronts.
Two of my friends with DID have similar problems regarding eyesight, though to more dramatic degrees–I haven’t had full blindness occur, just lost peripheral vision.”

“We have different eyesight. I know this for a fact because the last time we got glasses it was a really stressful time period and someone who doesn’t usually handle front stuff took that exam. The glasses we got didn’t work for any of us, although some more than others. I couldn’t wear them at all, I actually had to squint to see out of them. This last eye exam we made sure to have the right people show up and the new glasses work brilliantly. Like night and day difference.
We also have varying degrees of color blindness, which is kind of an annoyance being in graphic design.”

Hypoglycemia
“…pre-existing hypoglycemia would impair attention, which would make dissociation easier, but not directly cause it. Conversely, dissociation could make it difficult to keep track of eating or even from feeling hunger, and the causal relationship between trauma and eating disorders is well established…”

It kind of clicked for me after I read this response, in regards to trauma and eating disorders. When I was teenager I struggled with an eating disorder. Without ever thinking about the correlation, I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia about 2 years after the eating disorder developed.

“We’ve had on and off hypoglycemia and strange allergies. We didn’t know those could be linked.”

Pain Dissociation
I suppose this sounds like a no-brainer, but again, I had never made the connection. I’m able to turn off my pain receptors, for lack of a better explanation. For example, when I’m really cold, I’m actually able to kind of pull myself away from my body and not feel it.

“…how much pain I can feel in my arms varies depending on the alter co-fronting with me. I work as a fry cook. It’s not uncommon for accidental burns to happen, and I shake them off real quick, which freaks out a lot of people. Well, if Li, our traditional child alter is around, I can’t. I’m as pain-sensitive as everyone else.”

 

Other symptoms and phenomenons that were mentioned were different handwriting styles (including alters being left-handed while others are right-handed), dream-like states, out-of-body experiences, co-morbid diagnoses for  alters, self-persecution, headaches, and chronic fatigue.

Thanks to the Redditors for providing feedback and being such a supportive online community!

Published and Promoting! Plus, a Prize Contest!!!!

Solipsism: (noun) The belief that all reality is just one’s own imagining of reality, and that one’s self is the only thing that exists. 1871, coined from Latin solus, “alone”

I have been published! Solipsist, my collection of confessional poetry, is now available on Amazon and Kindle!

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***SHARE ON WORDPRESS THIS WEEK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN GIFTCARDS TO BARNES AND NOBLE, COFFEE BEAN, AND MORE!!!
I will be sending out thank you gifts to randomly selected WordPressers who share my book on their blog! Please be sure to link lazarusandlithium.com so I can include you in the prize selection! I will be sending the gifts on Friday, January 8th, so please make sure you share and link my blog before then!***

For those of you that don’t follow this blog, in 2010, I hit rock bottom. After struggling with crippling depression throughout my adolescence and heavy drug addiction, I attempted suicide. Thankfully, it wasn’t my time to leave. It has been an uphill battle towards recovery ever since. Every day I needed to make a conscious decision to hang on and get better. Slowly, with the love and support from my family and friends, I began to rehabilitate spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am very grateful to say that I have been sober (and plan to be!) from the drug that had nearly destroyed me.

Through my arduous recovery process, I had turned to writing for healing. These poems that I have published in Solipsist were deliberately handpicked, as each one was written during a crucial point in my therapy. They are raw, unfiltered. I understand that some of them can be hard to read. They are difficult to share.

So, why open up to the world? Unfortunately, suicide is such a stigmatized topic in our society, along with mental health. I painfully remember not wanting to reach out for help for this very specific reason. All too often, people who are struggling with the above mentioned are labeled as “weak” and “attention seeking.” Then, when someone we love takes their own life, we wonder why we never saw the signs.

I lived through my experiences and I know that my purpose is to spread awareness. If I am able to save one life, my purpose is fulfilled.
That being said, I am VERY excited about my first published book. I am inviting you all to share this moment with me!

 

In dedication to:

American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
https://www.afsp.org/

The Trevor Project- providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

RAINN- Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network
https://www.rainn.org
Thank you all in advance!!
Laz

That’s a Wrap! Goodbye 2015!

2015 has been an emotional roller coaster with really awesome highs, and really fucked up lows. I was trying to think of a way to summarize it all up into one, comprehensive blog post, and came up with the idea to attach one word to the year. One word to encapsulate it all. One word…

Metanoia (noun) 1. (psychology) the process of experiencing a psychotic “breakdown” and subsequent, positive psychological re-building or “healing” 2. The journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life.

Mental health, or lack thereof, at times. Thanks to a gentle push from a very good friend of mine, as well as my girlfriend, I found some refuge in a partial hospitalization program in February. Here I began the road to recovery from a psychotic playground swing-set and drug addiction.

Emergence from a heap of hopelessness and a seemingly-perpetual collapse. At more times than I care to admit, I sincerely felt that this would have been my last year here. I am able to recall a vivid moment in my old apartment: I had blacked out all of the windows, peeled all of my clothes off, and sank into a bathtub of warm water. I pulled myself out and curled up in the middle of my living room for literally hours. I cried silently as I held on to my knees, really thinking about how I could just run away from my life, or my body. Somehow, I have emerged from that very sad position and I am standing- still wobbly at times, but standing.

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Therapy. Not only did I receive fucking amazing group therapy this year, but I also found the best therapist in the entire world. Seriously. The hospitalization program offered me a place to be open and unfiltered about my symptoms. I finally found a med combination to combat depression and flashbacks. I was given coping skills and tools to handle everything and anything that came my way. Through the program, I was prompted to find a therapist- and I’m so happy to have her! Therapy has opened a brand new door towards healing from my past. Even though it’s painful and difficult, it has been totally worth it.

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Acceptance that I have actually lived through trauma, that I have other personalities, and that it’s going to be okay in the end. I’ve accepted the fact that I need to stick up for myself more often, and that I need to also give myself credit.

Not giving up. Yes, this pertains to me not giving up on life, but more than that, the people who love me did not give up on me- or for this I am eternally grateful. My friends were there for me, 24/7, despite the fact that I may have disappeared for weeks at a stretch, they were there to listen and help me back up. My family- my actual family who supports me- welcomed me back home. My therapist has proven to be a stable confidant in my life and integration process. And my girlfriend… from the very beginning… thank you to the moon and back. I would not be where I am now without you.

Opportunities to be who I am, speak up about mental health, seek therapy, fall in love, find happiness, and much more.

Integration. I’m not there yet, but I am thankful for the moments of cooperation from my system. I’m thankful for the communication that has grown stronger, and for their protection.

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Appreciation. Every morning, no matter how shit-tastic I may be feeling, I manage to still offer my appreciation towards the people that I love and have in my life, towards getting better, towards my inner-system, towards the roof over my head and food on my table. I have grown to appreciate my family more this year. Especially through group therapy, I’ve developed a habit of gratitude lists everyday that really help ground me.

I am looking forward to 2016. I know there will most likely be some major speed bumps in the road, but I even look forward to tackling those as well.

I encourage you to find a word that suits your year!!

One Year Later

I was casually reading a biography on Sylvia Plath, and these quotes stood out to me this morning:

“While few critics dispute the power or the substance in Plath’s poetry, some have come to feel that its legacy is one of cynicism, ego-absorption, and a prurient fascination with suicide.

The very source of [Plath’s] creative energy was, it turned out, her self-destructiveness. But it was, precisely, a source of living energy, of her imaginative, creative power. So, though death itself may have been a side issue, it was also an unavoidable risk in writing her kind of poem. My own impression of the circumstances surrounding her eventual death is that she gambled, not much caring whether she won or lost; and she lost.”

It has been one year since beginning this blog.

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What a YEAR it has been. I am so proud of myself for actually committing to writing and staying with it. Secondly, I’m proud of myself for the leaps I have made and accomplishments. I survived! I survived when I thought for sure that I would have taken my life by now.

But I didn’t! I’m here!

It’s very strange, reading back on my old blog posts. I often forget where I used to be, how I felt, how my life was. I’ve made giant strides since then. On some level, it is comforting looking back and realizing that when I do fall into depression, it’s nothing that I can’t get myself out of. Then on the other hand, it’s frightening because I don’t know how long I will deal with depression.

I am very appreciative of the community here and for the friendships I have made. All of you have been so incredibly helpful on my venture through the mental health system and my own mind. Thank you.

In other news, this past weekend was a busy one. The play is going very well. I have 4 more shows to go. My girlfriend has already made it to 3 because she’s fucking awesome. My grandma surprised me and came into town to watch the play, too!

A few days ago, I was having another dumpling date with my girlfriend and I received a few text messages from my mom’s cell phone. The texts became urgent. When I called her phone, however, it wasn’t her. It was her husband, Charlie.

Just in case you don’t follow my blog, here’s a little synopsis on my relationship with her: she lives in South Carolina. I’ve never met her. I only just “met” her (over the phone) 3 years ago. She was a drug addict for years and years, spent ample time in prison, moved back to the south where she married her ex-convict husband, Charlie (who by the way, I just learned, is 35-years-old while my mother is 50. Just saying), and HE is also addicted to opiates and pills, a whole slew of things. Anyways, I do have a relationship with her now. There was a good period where she was abusing drugs again, so was he. He’s been in the hospital lately with some blood infections after he had his kidney removed, so he’s clean off of drugs. Anyways, this is a very detailed summary, I just realized.

The point is- Charlie called me and asked me if I could help them out with the electricity bill.

When I first got back in contact with my mom, I swore to myself that I would never, ever help her out financially. I don’t own her anything. Moreover, she herself promised me that she would never ask me for money, either.

So here calls Charlie, asking me for some kind of donation because their electricity was going to be cut off the next day. I think I believe it because she has been telling me they’ve been hurting for money since Charlie’s intensive hospitalizations. The thing is, though, it SUCKS that I even have to think twice about it. Hmm… are they using this money to use the lights in their home, or are they going to buy some heroin needles and tar and shoot up?

It sucks that I’m the daughter yet here I am feeling slightly bad that I can’t help her out and also feeling worried. I hate the feeling of not being sure if she’s using drugs. I hate that she’s married to this guy and I still haven’t met her. I hate everything about the situation and I think it’s bullshit.

I didn’t give him money. He asked if it could stay between him and I, and I said fine. I haven’t talked to her since that day. At first, I was more irritated then anything. Then, once I was by myself in the car, I couldn’t help but cry at the situation.

Other than that, everything else is going well. I’m moving soon! I’m really excited about that. My girlfriend is moving out and I’ll snag her bedroom. Finally, a space of my own that I can call home. Being at my grandma’s was great for helping me get on my feet, but it is time for me to move out and have my own space.

That’s all for now, WordPress!

Nonbipolarism

Good morning.

There are only 2 days left until opening night of the play I’m in. I’m very anxious! However, I think it is a good kind of anxiety. Yesterday we reported straight to hair and makeup two hours prior to start time. I felt so happy sitting there on the stool, my face illuminated with bright lights, applying my stage makeup. I missed theatre in all of its glory..

Last night’s full run through went extremely well. The director said it was the best I had done since starting rehearsal. I have finally connected with my character and I totally feel that I have honed her in.

My body is super sore today. I think it’s from stress and running around the stage last night.

In other news, I had a productive therapy session this past Monday. We discussed my anxiety and then, my diagnoses. Perhaps I’m not bipolar. When this possibility presented itself to me, I must admit that it shook my foundation a bit. I don’t want to have bipolar disorder. However, after being labeled as such for 7 years, I’ve come to accept it and it’s ugly features. “Knowing” that I was bipolar meant I could base my recovery on that diagnoses. I researched, I educated myself, I made fellow bipolar friends, and that was that. Now, again 7 years later, I am faced with a newer and probably more accurate diagnoses: just good ol’ fashioned Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I was casually reading the DSM-IV and stumbled upon the dissociative disorder section. Yes, I’ve been reading about DID. I’ve joined a few forums, have read autobiographies, and have done my obligatory Web MD Google search. I had not read straight out of the DSM. Each line described me and it was a little scary, but also really relieving. It was also partially comical because I couldn’t help but feel the text was written about me. Everything from hearing voices, severe trauma, association to a cult, attachment, depersonalization, migraines, curious illness, even allergies and hypoglycemia. All of these symptoms and signs were present throughout my childhood to now.

I have DID. I accept it.

As my therapist told me, there is recovery for me. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Integration will come and I will move past my trauma.

Psychiatric Service Dogs

Looking for some advice from anyone with a psychiatric service dog…

I would like to have a service pup to help with my PTSD, dissociation, and severe bipolar episodes. I would specifically like to have a trained pup to be able to help me identify panic attacks, seizures and dissociation before they happen. I would like to have a pup to ease my concern when paranoia hits (for example, I’d like my pup to be able to let me know that it’s safe to go in the house, especially when I’m home alone). I could get a pup and register him as an emotional assistance animal, but I would really love a trained animal to help with the above mentioned items.

I guess I don’t really know how to go about this financially. I live in California. I’m able to afford a dog, but as far as the initial training- not so sure. Any resources would be greatly appreciated!

Proteus

Please excuse the silence.

A few nights ago, there was an internal shift which sent me into a seizure. These have happened before; the convulsing, the blood coming from somewhere in my mouth. I’ve been tested numerous times for epilepsy,diabetes, etc. There’s really no medical reason other than stress. I was released from the ER around 6:30 am. My girlfriend and I went back to her apartment, slept for a few hours, then she was off to work and I was off to group.

Yesterday morning as I drove to group, I felt extremely different and movie-like. I feel this quite often. Usually, the movie revolves around a victim and a detective. I’m almost always the victim. However, this time, I was the criminal. I had- or we had?- fleeting homicidal ideation.

There is a security gate to the hospital building. You need to be buzzed in. When we approached the gate, *I* was pulled out of my body and began watching everything as a ghost. The door buzzed. He smirked. Loud music thudded in my head as I watched this. It was as if he had just gotten away with murder as he pushed the gate open and walked through the therapy bungalow.

Whenever this happens, I watch the movie as if I’ve watched it a hundred times before; I always have an idea of how it “ends.” This particular movie was about a serial killer right before a rampage. I don’t get the feeling that it is a pointless rampage. I feel an underlying current of vengeance.

Today I’m speaking to my doctor about Abilify. She recommended Abilify and Latuda to stabilize my paranoia and hallucinations.

I didn’t sleep last night. I was so convinced that someone was in the house with me. I could hear footsteps and breathing. My dogs are here and logically I know that they would notify me if anyone were actually in the house.

Anyways, it’s not all negative news. I do feel that I’m gaining more strength from therapy. My girlfriend came in for a quick family session and I found it to be very beneficial. I also found how strong our relationship actually is. Not that I didn’t know that before, but talking it out aloud really opened my eyes.